PLEASE CALL 815-753-5200 for permit course information. Course details may change. For the most up-to-date information, please see our online listings: www.niu.edu/lasbgs
ATTENTION BGS STUDENTS: You will apply for graduation during the semester in which you register for your final term. You should meet with your adviser to determine that you are registering for the correct courses. You and your adviser must be certain that your file in Registration and Records is complete and accurate with all documents (transcripts, grade changes, substitutions, adviser approval letters) and information necessary for graduation. Please carefully review your Academic Advising Report for accuracy. It is your responsibility to contact your adviser with any questions regarding discrepancies that appear on this report. You may review your Academic Advising Report through MyNIU
The deadline for applying for December/Fall 2014 graduation is September 1, 2014. You must have at least 90 total semester hours to apply for graduation. The $29.00 graduation fee will be billed to your student account. Absolutely no late applications will be accepted. The deadline for applying for Spring/May 2015 graduation is February 1, 2015.
Registration for Fall 2014 begins the week of April 7, 2014.. Registration appointments are assigned based on the number of cumulative hours. Beginning early March, students may check MyNIU for their appointment day and time. Students may register on or after the assigned appointment day and time as long as there are not any holds assigned to their record. All new undergraduate students are allowed to register after meeting with an academic advisor following their orientation session (providing the appointment day and time has been reached).
If you are unfamiliar with the MyNIU system and/or need assistance, please visit
Courses titled with a computer means that the class is offered online.
This course will involve an examination of diversity including ethnic, racial, gender, age and other factors which impact the culture of interaction in the workplace. Readings, lecture, videos, interactive exercises and student experience will illustrate topics and lead to a better understanding of the origins and ongoing existence of multiculturalism within the contexts of domestic and global work settings.
Catalog Description: May be repeated to a maximum of 6 semester hours. PRQ: Consent of department.
Judith Calleja (3 credit hours)
The perennial culture wars raging in the USA are expressed in many areas of society. One area of attack is the opposition by the Religious Right to the teaching of evolution in public schools. Since before the famous “Scopes Monkey Trial” in 1925, school boards and legislatures have tried to eliminate, add equal doses of creationism to, or water down the coverage of evolution. They have targeted evolution as a cause for many of their perceived “social evils,” don’t understand science, and cannot separate evolution from “Social Darwinism.”
This course will introduce students to the history of the controversy, define the opposition, and explain where each side gets their ideas and what they believe. We will then explore philosophy of science in enough detail to be able to separate a scientific question from a non-scientific question. A preliminary survey of primarily biological evolution will provide students with the necessary information to counter creationist arguments. This course is designed to give students the ability to not only defend evolution but, more importantly, attack non-scientific intrusions into the public school system. It is not a course in biological evolution but complementary, and can be taken by any upper-level undergraduate with an interest in science and society.
Catalog Description: Evolutionary theory and tenets of present-day anti-evolutionists with emphasis on providing students with the skills to articulate the theory of evolution as it applies to the biological sciences. Not a substitute for a formal course in evolutionary theory. Recommended for students pursuing careers in secondary science education.
Ron Toth (3 credit hours)
This course is a study of economics with a heart, a normative approach. It covers concepts in economics leading to understanding of equity, efficiency, and welfare. Students will be able to understand how different forms of economic activities, policies, and methods of government resource allocations will be affecting the well-being of different groups of people and businesses. How income and resource distribution in society, as well as understanding of poverty, discrimination, equity, and efficiency of government programs will be explored.
Catalog Description: Topics of current importance to consumers, resource owners, business, and government. May be repeated once as topics change. PRQ: ECON 260 and ECON 261.
Sowjanya Dharmasankar (3 credit hours)
In this fully online class, students will study the principles and strategies for planning, writing, and revising technical documents common in government, business, and industry. Some of the topics covered in this class are audience analysis and purpose, writing effectively, simplifying complex information, writing instructions, and document design.
The class will “meet” in Blackboard Learn where students will find video lectures, video demonstrations, assignment information, discussion boards, and a journal space. Students will also use an online space provided by the textbook publisher to watch video presentations, complete exercises related to the weekly reading assignment, and take quizzes.
The e-textbook Technical Communication, 10th edition (2012), by Mike Markel, is included in the online course space, YourTechCommClass. An access code can be purchased at the University Bookstore and VCB. It can also be purchased online at http://courses.bfwpub.com/yourtechcommclass/student-access.php. Students can also register their access code at this address.
Catalog Description: Principles and strategies for planning, writing, and revising technical documents common in government, business, and industry (e.g., manuals, proposals, procedures, newsletters, brochures, specifications, memoranda, and formal reports). Topics include analysis of audience and purpose, simplifying complex information, document design, and project management.
Jan Knudsen (3 credit hours)
Socrates is generally considered the first great pholospher of the West. He believed that the fundamental purpose of philosphy was to ensure the proper conduct of life, and he was commited to self-control, self-knowledge, and self-realization in the service of virtue and the rule of law. In this class, we will read the four dialogues dealing with the last days of Socrates (Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, and Phaedo), which recount the event surrounding the criminal charges against him, his trial and defense, his conviction, and his death. All in the attempt to see how the life and death of “the bravest and also the wisest and the most just” man more than 2,400 years ago might serve as a model for our contemporary times.
No knowledge of ancient Greek or previous readings in Greek philosophy is necessary.
Requirements: Active, regular, and shared participation in online and on-site class discussions; an informal but regular reading journal of the student’s own responses (to the professor and other students); and a term-length final project of the student’s choice related to the subject of the course (determined in consulation with the professor).
Catalog Description: Topics announced. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 semester hours when topic varies.
Stephen Franklin (3 credit hours)
What does it mean to be "Victorian"? A silly question, given that the Victorian Age ended, most would agree, with the death of Queen Victoria over one hundred years ago. The temptation is to revise the question to ask, "What DID it mean?" And yet, think of how many Americans, especially in the architecturally-rich Midwest, inhabit Queen Anne cottages, Arts and Crafts, and other kinds of bungalows, and, yes, mini- and full-scale Victorians (all of these styles --even the Queen Anne--were developed during the Victorian era). Think of how many of us have an opinion about such social issues as welfare and such social and political alternatives as Liberalism--these, too, came into their own during Victoria's reign. And think of the contemporary relevance of Victorian fiction, in particular, which continues to stimulate adaptation after adaptation of its major novels even as we make our way into the 21st Century (the recent fine PBS series, Bleak House, being but the latest example). In a sense, we all remain Victorians. American culture still betrays the formative influence of that seventy-year period in British history.
ENGL 414, "The Victorian Age," will take time out to study some episodes of such Victorian influence. Devoting the bulk of our attention to the study of that influential era, the Victorian, in itself, we will read and analyze a variety of works by a variety of Victorian novelists, essayists, and poets. Students will become familiar with the dominant Victorian genres or kinds of writing (and the relationships between them) as well as the major substantive issues preoccupying the major Victorian writers, especially issues having to do with these writers’ sense of their own unique historical character. The course will serve as an introduction to “cultural inquiry,” a kind of reading and commentary that seeks to disclose aspects of Victorian culture that its poets and sages have tended to idealize, ignore, repress, or otherwise occlude.
More specifically, we will read one (Dickens) novel, survey some of the major poets (Tennyson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, Emily Bronte, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Morris), read some of the major prosists (Carlyle, Mill, Ruskin, Arnold, Stickney Ellis, Martineau, and Eliot), and perhaps sample an episode or two of the recent PBS Edwardian [what is truly a late-Victorian] reality series ("Manor House").
Catalog Description: Later 19th-century English literature, including such writers as the Brownings, Tennyson, the Brontës, Dickens, Eliot, Arnold, and Pater.
Brian May (3 credit hours)
Though maps have been used by civilizations for well over 5,000 years, practically all aspects of mapping today involve computers – from the collection of real-world data by GPS or satellites, to drafting and printing. Rather than study the history of maps and mapping, we will instead study the concept of maps as tools of modern communication and visualization. This course is also the starting point for NIU’s certificate of undergraduate study in Geographic Information Systems (in addition to applying toward the B.G.S.) and is required for several further courses in geography.
Catalog Description: Catalog Description, GEOG 256: Introduction to maps as models of our earth, tools of visualization, and forms of graphic communication. Use of satellite and aerial imagery, land surveying, and geographic informatin systems in map production. Thematic maps and how they are used. Map design for informational and persuasive purposes. Two hours of lecture, two hours of laboratory.
Catalog Description, GEOG 556: For graduate students with little formal background in mapping. Maps as models, tools of visualization, and forms of graphic communication. Processes of map production, including imagery and surveying. Principles of map design.
Devin Moeller/Andrew Krmenec (3 credit hours)
This course is intended to provide the student with a broader understanding of water and its importance to our lives and earth’s complex environment. We will consider issues facing water such as whether the supply of water will continue, how man-made developments have altered water availability, how pollution has eroded this natural resource, and where/how we can restore our water resources. Relevant video clips, online tutorials, and supplemental readings will be used throughout the course to provide examples of water-related issues affecting northern Illinois, other regions of the U.S., as well as various countries around the world.
Catalog Description: Evaluation of water as a resource; its availability, distribution, use, and quality. Operation of the hydrologic cycle and relationships between surface water and the soil, groundwater, and atmosphere. Human impacts on water resources and the management of water-related hazards, including flooding, drought, and the spread of disease. Lecture and field experience.
Sharon Ashley/Walker Ashley (3 credit hours)
Examination of fundamentals of atmospheric phenomena with an emphasis on understanding concepts and processes behind severe manifestations of weather and climate. Physical aspects of extratropical cyclones, winter weather phenomena, thunderstorm phenomena, tropical weather systems, and large-scale longer-term weather events are analyzed. Case studies are employed to investigate human, economic, and environmental consequences of extreme weather and climate events.
Catalog Description: Catalog Description: Examination of fundamentals of atmospheric phenomena with an emphasis on understanding concepts and processes behind severe manifestations of weather and climate. Physical aspects of extratropical cyclones, winter weather phenomena, thunderstorm phenomena, tropical weather systems, and large-scale, longer-term weather events are analyzed. Case studies are employed to investigate human, economic, and environmental consequences of extreme weather and climate events.
Walker Ashley (3 credit hours)
This course is an introduction to geographic issues in various regions of the United States and Canada. You will be introduced to some major patterns and processes that dominate the major physical and cultural realms of this region. We will first go over some basic physical and social features common to the United States and Canada. We then will explore the historical evolution and unique physical, cultural, and environmental features of fourteen sub-regions, following your textbook. Rather than just describing each region, we will examine the various regions in an attempt to understand and explain regional differences. Ultimately, our exploration of these regions should help us all reach a deeper understanding of the diversity and complexity of life in the United States and Canada. A final project, map quizzes, and exams will all be utilized to increase your knowledge of this diverse and fascinating region.
Catalog Description: Regional analysis of the two countries. Cultural, economic, and political patterns. Geographic perspectives applied to current issues and problems.
Sharon Ashley (3 credit hours)
Have you ever asked yourself, “Where in the world am I?” GEOG 359 may help you answer that question with an introductory study into the principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). In this online course, we develop skills in GIS, its components, and how it applies to our surrounding environment. This course is a primer for those who are interested in learning more about the dynamic and ever-changing world of GIS and its career applications.
Catalog Description: Catalog Description, GEOG 359: Study of the fundamental principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Emphasis on the development of these systems, their components and their integration into mainstream geography. Two hours of lecture, two hours of laboratory. PRQ: GEOG 256 or GEOG 352 or consent of department. Catalog Description, GEOG 557: For graduate students with little formal background in GIS or computer mapping. Principles, components, and uses of geographic information systems. PRQ: GEOG 552 or GEOG 556, or consent of department.
Phil Young (3 credit hours)
Land Use Planning/Regional Planning is a course designed to study the processes and policies concerning land development decisions. Mapping and GIS decision-making techniques are applied to the analysis of urban growth and land-use patterns at global, national, state, regional, and local scales. Hands-on exercises developed for Google Earth and other GIS software incorporate land, environmental, demographic, and business information to demonstrate typical planning scenarios. In addition to applying towards the B.G.S., this class also counts toward NIU’s certificate of undergraduate study in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
Catalog Description: Catalog Description, GEOG 455: Study of processes and policies in land use and land development decisions. Mapping and GIS decision-making techniques applied to the analysis of land-use patterns and management conflicts at national, state, regional, and local government scales. Lecture, laboratory, and field experience. Catalog Description, GEOG 659: Geographic basis and practice of regional mapping, GIS, and spatial decision processes applied to land-use, social services, transportation, and environmental management concerns. Problems of integrating land, transportation, and environmental management over a multijurisdictional geography.
Richard Greene (3 credit hours)
This course will offer a broad, interdisciplinary approach to the history of ancient Greece from the Neolithic through the Hellenistic periods (c.10,000-100 BCE). By its end, you should have a general understanding of the society, key events, and significant material culture of this civilization, as well as the ability to analyze its complex development. This seminar-style course develops several important skills both within and beyond the field of history:
Catalog Description: Survey of Ancient Greece including the Bronze Age, Minoan- Mycenean Civilization, Hellenic Civilization and the Classical Age.
Laura Steele (3 credit hours)
Catalog Description: Work as an intern in an off-campus agency in activities related to one of the majors in the college. Reading and paper preparation under the supervision of a faculty member in the college. May be repeated once. S/U grading. PRQ: Consent of major department and college; junior or senior standing.
Judy Santacaterina (3 Credit Hours). Location and times TBD in consultation with instructor.
These days it seems like you are nobody if you are not on television, have a heavily-trafficked web presence, and regularly appear in the media. Reality TV, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and smart phone apps have become a routine part of life for the vast majority of Americans. Image and images are everything. As a result we will take a critical look at mass media: what it is, how it operates, and what effect it has. But we will go further and particularly examine media as it relates to government and public life in general. No longer confined to elections and campaigns, media appeals have become standard fare in the day-to-day conduct of government. Such appeals are used by private interests as well as by official decision makers to further partisan and self-serving objectives. Politics is show business. Nearly every politician has a web presence and regularly appears on popular talk shows to “spin” issues in an attempt to appeal to the public. In short, the use and misuse of media by political elites for political purposes has transformed the practice of leadership and governance and raises questions about democratic process and policy outcomes. In this class we will broadly examine image-based, media-driven-politics in the United States both among citizens and between political elites and the public. What are the implications for politics of having instant and continuous media accessibility and connectivity?
Catalog Description: Examination of the influence of the mass media and the elite media on American politics with particular emphasis on how the media relates to other systems of power and authority. Recommended: At least sophomore standing.
Art Ward (3 credit hours)
This course will focus on the history, organization, procedures and activities of the United States Supreme Court. Although the Court is at the center of many controversies, most people know relatively little about how it actually operates in the U.S. political and legal systems. The course will examine in depth the nature of Supreme Court appointments, agenda-setting, oral arguments, decision-making, and opinion writing. In addition, we will consider the Court’s relationship to other institutions, including lower courts and the legislative and executive branches. Students will learn how the Court is both a political and legal institution and, more broadly, how law and politics intersect in the U.S. In addition to assigned readings on the Supreme Court, we will follow and discuss (online) current cases before the Court in order to more fully understand how it operates and makes decisions, and the impact its decisions have on law and politics.
Catalog Description: Principles, organization, procedures, and activities of the U.S. Supreme Court. Topics include appointments, public opinion, agenda-setting, oral argument, decision-making, opinion writing, and the Court’s relationship to other institutions including lower courts and the legislative and executive branches. Recommended: At least sophomore standing.
J. Mitch Pickerill (3 credit hours)
Women & Politics will explore the role of sex and gender in political attitudes and behaviors. The focus of this class will be on what we mean by sex and gender when considering something as complex as political behaviors. Sometimes men and women's attitudes and behaviors are different, but sometimes not. What explains the variation? And what does it mean for political leadership? We will explore these and other issues in this class.
Catalog Description: Focus on women’s political roles from a variety of cultural perspectives; emphasizes political socialization, access to the polocy process, and women as politicians and decision-makers. Recommended: At least sophomore standing.
Rebecca Hannagan (3 credit hours)
Personality is defined as consistent behavior patterns and intrapersonal processes originating within the individual. This course will focus on the study of individuals and examine the major contributions made to the field of personality by renowned psychologists. Class sessions will enhance student learning on the psychoanalytic approach (Freudian Theory); New-Freudian theories; trait approach; biological approach; humanistic approach; behavioral/socal learning approach and the cognitive approach. Lecture and films will be presented in class sessions followed by open group discussion and activities to identify and clarify critical issues and concepts presented in the text.
Catalog Description: Consideration of basic factors in personality and the role of personality in the study of behavior. Discussion and critical examination of contemporary studies in personality, with emphasis on experimental evidence. PRQ: At least sophomore standing and PSYC 102, or consent of department.
Joanne Messina (3 credit hours)
Introduction to basic concepts in statistical methods including probability, theoretical and empirical distributions, estimation, tests of hypotheses, linear regression and correlation, and single classification analysis of variance procedures. This course may not be used in major GPA calculation for mathematical sciences majors.
Please note: This course is not available for credit toward the major in mathematical sciences.
Catalog Description: Catalog Description: Introduction to basic concepts in statistical methods including probability, theoretical and empirical distributions, estimation, tests of hypotheses, linear regression and correlation, and single classification analysis of variance procedures. Not available for credit toward the major in mathematical sciences. Not used in major GPA calculation for mathematical sciences majors. PRQ: MATH 206 or MATH 210 or MATH 211 or MATH 229.
Claudine Myers (3 credit hours)
Using the publication of The Feminine Mystique (1963) as our launching point, we will use a multidisciplinary approach and draw on a variety of media to explore debates about women’s public and private representations of self and gender.
Catalog Description: May be repeated to a maximum of 6 semester hours as topics changes. PRQ: Junior or senior standing or consent of director.
Lise Schlosser (3 credit hours)